Estate cars don’t tend to present themselves as an oil painting. By their very nature they are more function than style, offering space for all of the family including the dog. Maybe it is typical that we now see the Italians injecting some style into the mix with the new Fiat Tipo Station Wagon. It has been a while since Fiat entered the C-segment brawl, but Tipo has opened the door once again and hopes to be a contender.
The Station Wagon brings with it the good looks of its hatchback sibling, of which we tested in Italy during the summer. It retains that stylish wide chrome grill that creates a floating effect for a highly polished badge. Intricate headlight clusters sit either side whist polite creases in the bonnet contour the surface. A pronounce line runs down the cars length and tapering glass leads nicely onto a neat boot spoiler. The 17 inch alloy wheels on this top specification model looked smart and completed what is a rather civilised design overall. Maybe even a look that would have you expecting a higher sticker price?
The interesting architecture continues inside where a sculpted dashboard cascades. A chunky steering wheel features shortcut buttons and a 5 inch infotainment display is at your disposal. Frustratingly 5 inches is the larges screen offered in the UK, whereas in Italy we previously tested a bigger unit. Nevertheless, it provides DAB radio, satellite navigation, and phone connectivity. The centre console is relatively clutter free as a result. There is some rather scratchy plastic around the cabin which is a shame. Comfortable fabric seats with electric lumbar support serve their purpose well. Rear passengers of the Fiat Tipo Station Wagon receive a good amount of space whilst the boot offers 110 litres more than the hatchback. 550 litres of boot space is yours along with a few neat under floor storage compartments.
This Fiat Tipo Station Wagon is powered by a 1.6 litre Multijet 2 diesel engine producing 118 BHP. It is a good strong engine with plenty of torque to be utilised lower int he rev range. At low speeds it makes that typical diesel drone, but once on the move refinement from the unit is pleasing. Pair with this 6 speed manual transmission it is a pleasant car to go about your business in. It isn’t the keenest handling machine in this segment with limited feedback and a general lack of dynamism. However, there are high levels of grip to be exploited and it does a fair job of controlling body roll through tight corners. As for ride comfort, the Station Wagon is well damped and so softens the impact of our often rutted British roads. This car is most at home on the motorway where the diesel engine in its element. Brisk overtaking manoeuvres are possible as is the ability to simply set the cruise control and clock up the miles all day. To be totally honest, that is exactly what this specification will be used for primarily and it completes such tasks with ease. Visibility isn’t the best due to a small rear window and so I would recommend the reversing camera. Otherwise parking the Tipo isn’t difficult as it proportions are still manageable even in built up urban areas. It should be economical to run too with a claimed 76 MPG on the combined cycle and emits 98g/km CO2.
This Fiat Tipo Station Wagon delivers on its promise of practicality for the family. Better than that, it is actually rather good value starting at just £1,000 more than the hatch. An entry level car begins at £13,995 and comes with DAB radio, as well as roof rails, standard. This particular top specification car with the diesel engine will set you back £18,995. The original Tipo was a strong seller for Fiat and this incarnation, offered in three body styles, aims to emulate that success.